Long-time Iluka resident Bill Hammond made it a double when he stroked the first ball at the launch of a new croquet club at the Iluka Blowing Club last Friday November 4.
Mr Hammond, 100, also opened the bowling club itself over 50 years ago – a life member of the club, he says he is one of two founding members still alive.
“I had the first hit,” he says, “and I’ve never hit a croquet ball before.”
Excited by the people who had turned up for the inaugural event, he laughs and says: “A chap called and asked if I could do the first hit. I wanted to say a few words; but with the big crowd I forgot what I wanted to say.”
When asked about the honour of being the first to hit a croquet ball at the club, he laughs again: “I’m too old to feel anything!”
The man who initiated the formation of the croquet club, Col Hennessy, says about 37 beginners turned out.
“We had 15 experienced players, mentors and coaches from clubs including Coutts Crossing, Lismore, Ballina and Casino,” he says.
“Everyone was very complimentary about the state of the green and the surface played well.
“We also had six players from Smithtown who were in the area and came along to enjoy the festivities.
“The day started with a cuppa and christening cake before lessons began, and there was a sausage sizzle put on by the bowls club for lunch.
“Local businesses provided some well received prizes.”
Future games will be held on Fridays and Sundays at 10am; for more information call Col Hennessy on 0416 814 911.